I’ve been making socca for about a year and a half now. Or maybe I’ve been making farinata. Or maybe the purists would say I’ve been making blasphemy. Either way, I’ve been making some sort of chickpea flour flatbread pancake type thingy in a skillet in a really hot oven, for a while now.
Hot from the pan it’s crispy around the edges, soft and custard-like in the middle, salty, peppery and a little bit greasy. In short, delicious. Not to mention gluten-free, protein and fiber-filled, low glycemic and a total cinch to make. What’s not to love? I mean, really.
This all started kind of by accident. I scored a big bag of chickpea flour (otherwise known as garbanzo, besan or gram flour) at an everything-must-go type sale at a now twice-defunct health food store, and started googling what exactly I might do with my new bounty. I had some vague recollection of an old Jamie Oliver episode, some sort of chickpea flour (or maybe not, even) pancake, Indian style, stuffed with cilantro and onions and hot peppers, flavoured with cumin, coriander, turmeric. What I found instead was a recipe for this street food flatbread thing from Nice called “socca” which sounded kinda delish, not to mention super easy. Literally chickpea flour, water, salt, pepper, olive oil. Like a crepe batter, cooked in a blazing hot pan in the oven.
Since my first socca, I’ve experimented with variations galore – differing ratios of flour to water, rosemary vs. cumin vs. simple salt & fresh black pepper. I’ve even gone so far as to throw a bunch of veggies, spices and some nutritional yeast in, ending up with something not unlike an eggless frittata. But recently, I’ve gone back to the beginning, perfecting my recipe with Celtic sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper and a pinch of dried rosemary. Coconut oil instead of olive is a blasphemy I cling to, however.
Every socca recipe I’ve come across is slightly different, from the measurements to the cooking method and temperatures. Stovetop in a skillet, oven in a skillet, oven in a regular pan, under the broiler in a skillet, you name it. I’ve been doing the super hot oven+skillet method lately, though I think my next batch is going under the broiler for some extra-crispy-ness. Anyway, here’s the favourite recipe of the week!
Socca, straight up
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste (be generous!)
1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
Preheat oven to 450F.
In a bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, water, salt, rosemary and pepper. Allow to sit while oven heats up (some recipes say to rest batter for hours but I never have the patience nor foresight).
Heat oil in oven proof skillet (cast iron or stainless), until sizzling (this is important, adding batter to HOT pan will create a crispy bottom layer and prevent sticking). Pour batter into heated pan, bake for 10-15 minutes until edges begin to brown and cracks appear on top.
Remove from oven, slice into wedges and enjoy immediately! It’s really best when still hot or warm, the insides are soft and the edges crispy – pure delight, as one of my roommates would say!
I was so excited to eat this one that I forgot to snap a (crappy iphone) picture of the cooked product in the pan before I tore it up and started devouring. Oops? I’m working on the technicalities of food blogging, ok. It’s hard when you’re hungry.
This is a great snack as is, or with any spread, topping, dip you’d put on pita or tortillas or, y’know, thingys. I’ve been fantasizing about going garbanzo-crazy and slathering my socca in one of my fave food groups, hummus. There’s nothing wrong with doubling up.
Anyway, that’s my favourite “bread” these days. I’m eating as low glycemic as I can for various reasons, which means light on the grains and breads, which MEANS socca is my low glycemic index bread bff. I know, who has bread bffs, right?
Next up: Kale. Lots of kale.